Local app protects packages from thieves, bad weather

By Amy Davis - Reporter/Consumer Expert

HOUSTON - Package theft is a big problem around the country and in Houston. A local app can help you protect your deliveries for a price.

Local Postal can essentially turn any local business into a post office where you can have your packages delivered and held safely until you can pick them up. 

Even on busy West Alabama in Montrose, it's hard to get people to pop in to Arden's Picture Framing and Gallery. 

"There's a lot of people in the community that drive past us every day,"  owner Amanda Hoak said. "But as they head their busy lives,  they're on the way to work, they don't necessarily know what we do."

But Hoak is hoping for more drop ins like Local Postal customer Lauren Meadors. 

Meadors lives in an apartment. Her work schedule makes picking up packages from the complex office difficult. 

"If I can't get home by, I think it's 5:30 or 6, I have to wait until the next day," Meadors said. "And if I can't get home, I have to wait until Saturday." 

Meadors signed up for Local Postal and picked a convenient gas station where she could have her package delivered to pick it up on her way home.   

"I was filling up with gas anyway, so I just walked in and said 'Hi, I'm here to pick up a Local Postal,'" Meadors said. 

"This just offers that peace of mind to our customers to say 'Hey, the package is here safe at the local business. Come pick it up whenever it suits you. You don't have to worry and it's safe.'" said Local Postal co-founder Michael Talbot. 

Talbot and his partner Mohsin Sukkurwala created the business that you can use as an app or on a computer. When you pick a location, you can see the business's hours to know if they work for you. You pay $2.99 for standard size packages. Oversized boxes and those weighing more than 50 pounds are $5.99. The businesses that receive the deliveries get a cut of those fees. Talbot says it's a win-win. 

"Especially in the world where local businesses are losing businesses to online retailers, we just thought 'This is a great idea. Let's do it.'" 

They've been doing it since March. Right now there are about 20 businesses where you can send packages. All except one of the businesses are inside the loop. The other one is in Sugar Land. Talbot and Sukkurwala want to sign on more. 

When your package is delivered to a Local Postal business, they send you a notification through the app with a QR code that you show to the business when you go to do the pick up.

Copyright 2018 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.